About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of TorahMusings.com, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link of New Jersey, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student serves on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and as Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He also serves on the Editorial Board of Jewish Action magazine and the Board of OU Press. He has published five English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

3 comments

  1. Passover Advice from Mr. Cohen

    What a beautiful and powerful merit it would be,
    if all Jews would:

    not complain about cleaning for Passover; and
    not complain about the cost of Passover food; and
    not complain about the challenges of travel for Passover; and
    not complain about the length of the seder [or sedarim]; and
    not complain about the longer Passover morning prayers; and
    not complain about the taste of Passover foods; and
    not complain about using vacation days to absences from work; and
    not complain about anything related to Passover.

    You see, Passover is all about THANKING HASHEM and praising Him
    for the numerous miracles and benefits we received from Him
    at the time of the Exodus from Egypt [yetziat Mitzraim].

    When we complain, we are doing the opposite of THANKING HASHEM
    and praising Him, G_d forbid!

    By celebrating Passover, we accumulate many merits for Olam HaBa;
    but if we complain about Passover, then those complaints may
    reduce those merits, G_d forbid!

    When Jewish children hear adults complain about Passover,
    how does that influence their very impressionable personalities?

    I know that Passover is the most challenging holiday,
    and I have also (unfortunately) been guilty of complaining;
    but I am trying to correct that, because now I understand
    that complain about Passover is very destructive and traif.

    Just as it is wrong to make jokes about Brit Milah because
    Brit Milah is precious and holy and awesome, so too it is
    also wrong to complain about Passover because Passover is
    precious and holy and awesome.

    May HASHEM act though His Mercy and grant all Jews
    a very happy and very kosher Passover.

  2. I believe Rav Herschel Schacter has decreed that there is no Mitzvah to have a nervous breakdown over Pesach.
    On the other hand,I was discussing the astronomical costs of preparing for Pesach, and a friend mentioned that he had heard an estimated figure of $1.2 billion for the cost of only food products in the USA alone! Add to this the costs of fancy resorts and hotels in exotic locations with lavish meals and entertainment, etc., plus Chol HaMoed diversions, plus the travel expenses involved in leaving home to reach these destinations. Pesach today has become for many of us nothing less than an obscene Hillul HaShem; an 8-day orgy devoid of any religious or spiritual meaning.

  3. In my early years a Baal Teshuvah I said few Pesach divrei Torah at the sedarim and the daytime seudot.

    Now B”H IY”H I am able to, and expected to, recite numerous Pesach divrei Torah from:

    Tanna DeBei Eliyahu, Jerusalem Talmud, Babylonian Talmud, Shuchan Aruch, Pirkei DeRabbi Eliezer, Midrash Rabah, Seforno, Sefer Charedim, Kav HaYashar, Shevet Mussar, Chidushei HaRim, Rabbi Akiva Eiger, Vilna Gaon, Baal HaTurim, Maharal, Maharil, Steipler, Rabbi Avraham of Slonim, Rabbi Avraham of Slonim, Midrash Tanchuma, Rambam, Rema, Sichos Mussar, Ibn Ezra, Chayei Adam, Tur, Rashbam, Yalkut Shimoni, Mechilta, Rabbi Yehudah HaChasid, Midrash Tehillim, Sefer HaChinuch, Ramban, Chayei Adam, Sefer Benayahu, Sefer HaShelah HaKodesh, Sefer Megale Amukot, Chida, Rashi, Rabbeinu Yonah, Avot DeRabbi Natan, Sefer Pele Yoetz, Rabbi Yosef Ber Soloveitchik, Sefer Mitzvot Katan, Kaf HaChayim [Palagi], Kaf HaChayim [Sofer], Sefer Bnei Yissachar, Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, Zohar, Rabbi Yaakov of Lissa, Derech HaShem, etc.

    Last year I recited 35 pages of new divrei Torah for Pesach that I did not have in previous years. This was possible because I collect new divrei Torah for Pesach 12 months a year.

    Due to recent severe illnesses in my family, I only have 14 pages of new divrei Torah to recite for Pesach that I did not have in previous years.

    Most of divrei Torah for Pesach are recited during the daytime meals; I minimize my divrei Torah at the sedarim so we can finish by 11:30 PM (which we actually do, B”H).

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